A Thing for the Ladies by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

A Thing for the Ladies

My father had a thing for the ladies.

The barely legal Asian
schoolgirl ladies
on the computer.

And when he went Saturday grocery shopping
with my mother
each weekend
I tried to find his ladies
but didn’t know the

One Saturday
as I was sitting alone at the computer
I reached under the lip
of the swivel chair
and felt something dried
and crusty
flake off into my

There was also a half-dried
sort of mystery goo,
much like petroleum

I lifted it too my nose
smelled it
it was briny.

I knew right away
and began to gag.

And then it hit me:
the realization that I was created
from the same primordial sex goo
pasted to my hand
from the underside of the

I was horrible to know that.

To know that parts of me
were likely smeared all over the couch cushions
of half the city
in Eastern Standard

I was the shot of love juice
that missed the upholstery,
nothing more.

It was all too much.
It was all too much.

Quick drying to my hand
like some fast acting
bonding agent.

And then I thought of my parents
out grocery shopping.

Of those hands fondling all the produce,
running slippery through the bean display
feeling tomatoes for ripeness
money –
and who knows what else –
switching hands.

Even at that early age
I thought of it:
the whole system of spew
and smear:
I thought of doorbells
paper routes
steering wheels
bread knives
playing cards
parking meters
sink faucets
door knobs
light switches
cash registers
art class scissors
most of all…

And I thought of all the other hands
in all the other countries
on all the other continents:
gripping touching rubbing


I ran to the refrigerator
grabbed an egg from the carton
and squashed it into the mess
on the underside of
the chair.

(An egg and sperm
according to grade six
health class)

Trying to create
some genetic freak.
Some winged birdman
to fly away from all
of this.

Ryan Quinn FlanaganRyan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian born author presently residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario Canada. His work has been published both in print and online in such places as The New York Quarterly, Windsor Review, Vallum, The Antigonish Review, CV2, Horror Sleaze Trash, Evergreen Review, Your One Phone Call and In Between Hangovers.

4 Replies to “A Thing for the Ladies by Ryan Quinn Flanagan”

  1. Oh my! I’m not sure what to say (within the context that it’s not vital that I personally say anything) … but I want to register the fact that you had a reader … I responded better to this one after my second reading … I did not have this kind of experience … a different one maybe (no where near as dramatic) … okay, when you include this one in your “selected poems” I might argue that one line would read more smoothly if it were “I was horrified” … but what do I know! Cheers! DaP

  2. Hey DaP, thanks so much for leaving a comment and for your feedback. It is very much appreciated my friend! Cheers, Ryan.

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